The name of the church itself appears to have largely gone out of use at the time of compiling the OS Name Books and they only list is as a ‘Chapel (In Ruins)’ [simple_tooltip content='OS Name Books Inverness-shire Ordnance Survey Name Books, 1876-1878. ScotlandsPlaces <https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/digital-volumes/ordnance-survey-name-books/inverness-shire-os-name-books-1876-1878>.'](OS Name Books OS1/18/10/111)[/simple_tooltip]. However, the name Loch Cille Bhanain reveals that a *Cille Bhanain existed at some point and was then incorporated into the name of the loch. Map forms as late as 1832 list give Kilivanan. The [simple_tooltip content='RCAHMS = 1928. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles (Edinburgh).']1914 RCAHMS[/simple_tooltip] commissioner stated that there was a ‘ruined building marked “Chapel in ruins” on O.S. map. The name of the loch suggests that there had been a church near it in olden times, but judging from the orientation it is doubtful if this ruin was ever a church.’
Blaeu’s spelling and subsequent forms would suggest that the name is dedicated to St Banan, despite the forms by earlier map makers giving S. Columbanus. The most likely candidate seems to be Beinian Mac Seiscnéin of Armagh, a contemporary of St Patrick, and reputed to be his discipline and successor [simple_tooltip content='DoSH = Butter, R., Clancy, T.O. & Márkus, G. 2010-3. ‘Commemorations of Saints in Scottish Place-Names’ <https://www.saintsplaces.gla.ac.uk/>.'](DoSH)[/simple_tooltip]. [simple_tooltip content='Watson, W.J. 2004 (1926). The History of the Celtic Placenames of Scotland (edinburgh).']Watson (2004 (1926), 301)[/simple_tooltip] draws parallels with Kildavanan in Bute and argues that ‘the saint is probably the same’ in both names. As noted by [simple_tooltip content='Butter, R. 2007. ‘Cill- names and Saints in Argyll: a way towards understanding the early church in Dál Riata?’ <http://theses.gla.ac.uk/4509/>.']Butter (2007, 199)[/simple_tooltip] ‘if Watson’s attribution was correct then this dedication would fit well into a group of dedications on Bute which are distinctly non-Columban’. An early cult association with Armagh is a possibility for this site, but a later Scandinavian association may also be envisaged (see discussion under Banan). Ultimately, little can be deduced by looking at the site itself due to the uncertainty that the ruins next to Loch Cille Bhanain represent the original church-site. Rather, it is necessary to consider *Cille Bhanain in the context of other similar sites in Scotland and Ireland in order to provide a possible outline of its history.
See further discussion under Banan for the possible dating of this site.
[simple_tooltip content='Martin, M. 1703. A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland (London).']Martin 1703, 88:[/simple_tooltip] ‘The Churches here [South Uist] are St. Columba and St. Mary’s in Hogh-more, the most centrical place in the Island; St. Jeremy’s Chapels, St. Peter’s, St. Bannan, St. Michael, St. Donnan.’
Canmore ID 9924
- Grid reference: NF767413
[simple_tooltip content='Scottish Gaelic']G[/simple_tooltip] cill ‘a church, chapel, churchyard, burial ground, hermit’s cell’ + [simple_tooltip content='personal name']pn[/simple_tooltip] Banan
(St Banan’s Church)
[simple_tooltip content='Ortelius, A., 1580. ‘Scotiae tabula’ (NLS National Library of Scotland) <https://maps.nls.uk/scotland/rec/128>.']1580 Ortelius[/simple_tooltip] S. Columbanus
[simple_tooltip content='Mercator, G. 1595. ‘Scotia Regnum’ (NLS National Library of Scotland) <https://maps.nls.uk/scotland/rec/130>.']1595 Mercator[/simple_tooltip] St. Columbanus
[simple_tooltip content='Hole, W. 1607. ‘Scotia Regnum’ (NLS National Library of Scotland) <https://maps.nls.uk/scotland/rec/133>.']1607 Hole[/simple_tooltip] St Columbanus
[simple_tooltip content='Speed, J. 1610. ‘The Kingdome of Scotland / performed by John Speed’ (NLS National Library of Scotland) <https://maps.nls.uk/scotland/rec/134>.']1610 Speed[/simple_tooltip] S. Columbanus
[simple_tooltip content='Blaeu, J. 1654. ‘Atlas of Scotland’ (NLS National Library of Scotland) <https://maps.nls.uk/atlas/blaeu/graphic_index_west.html>.']1654 Blaeu[/simple_tooltip] Kiluanen
[simple_tooltip content='Thomson, J. 1832. ‘John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland’ (NLS National Library of Scotland) <https://maps.nls.uk/atlas/thomson/494.html>.']1832 Thomson[/simple_tooltip] Kilivanan
[simple_tooltip content='Six-inch 1st edition Ordnance Survey Maps of Scotland, 1843-1882 <https://maps.nls.uk/os/6inch/index.html>.']OS 6-inch[/simple_tooltip] Loch Cille Bhanain (+ Chapel (In Ruins) & Burial Ground)